ALEX Batty has spoken publicly for the first time since reuniting with his family in the UK.
The British teenager, who was found in France, told reporters today he was “glad to be home for Christmas”.
PAAlex Batty, now 17, went missing in 2017 after going on a family holiday to Spain[/caption]
The boy finally returned to the home of his grandmother and legal guardian Susan Caruana in Oldham, Greater Manchester on Saturday evening after escaping from a French commune.
He had been missing for more than six years when he was last week picked up by a French driver on a rural road in southern France.
Accompanied by a relative, he today spoke with reporters upon returning to his grandmother’s home from a shopping trip.
French prosecutor Antoine Leroy earlier said that Alex and his mother Melanie “were on the move constantly”.
Alex, his mother, and his grandfather David had gone on a pre-agreed trip to Spain in 2017 and were supposed to return after a week, but were not seen again – until Alex appeared on Wednesday.
The nomadic commune where Alex has reportedly been since 2017 is said to be cut off from society with no schools.
Now aged 17, Alex decided to flee his mum in the Pyrenees mountains when she told him they needed to move to Finland, according to Leroy.
During a press conference on Friday, French cops said: “When his mother said to Alex that they needed to go Finland, Alex Batty decided to stop this journey and left his mum and started to walk for four days and four nights.
“He was mainly walking at night and sleeping during the day.”
Relative Stephen Devine, a cousin of Alex’s mum, told The Sun: “Alex’s mum was involved in a cult.
“His grandma became his guardian but then his mum Melissa and grandfather offered to take him on holiday for a week and they were never seen again.
“It is going to be a big adjustment for him. He’s probably grown up without a formal education.”
Alex’s grandmother Susan never gave up hope that her grandson would one day be found.
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